What is news anyways?

Answering some frequently asked questions

It’s great to get questions and comments about what we do at Ponoka News because that means people are reading us, and that’s what we want.

What is news anyways? Very simply put, it’s interesting people, doing interesting things. We try to write and share news that is of interest to the community or is informative or useful in some way.

News media can also play an important role in keeping governments and leaders accountable by observing meetings, asking questions, and disseminating that information to the public.

We’ve been asked why we don’t cover more provincial or national interest stories, or why we have any at all. After all, what does it have to do with Ponoka? Wondering how it all works? Here are some things you may not know about Ponoka News:

We are a community paper

At Ponoka News, our two-person editorial (news) staff is dedicated to covering local news within our readership area, which is the town and rural area of Ponoka, as well as the four First Nations of Maskwacis.

We are first and foremost a local paper; that is our strength, and there is plenty of exciting, noteworthy and important things happening right here at home.

The pages of the print edition focus on local news, and may also sometimes include stories written by our other Black Press papers in nearby communities if they are interesting or have some relevance to our readers.

Online content

If you see a story on our website or shared on our social media that is not a local story, it is likely a Canadian Press (CP) or Associated Press (AP) story. Check the byline at the top of the story to find out.

The Ponoka News editorial staff do no write these stories and we don’t control that content. A digital team in B.C. finds that content and pushes it to our website, and we share that content on our Facebook page as a service for those who may be interested in those stories.

Newsrooms everywhere are shrinking as the economy, technology and journalism changes and shifts more and more to the screen. Having a large variety of online content is one way we stay viable, supporting us so we can continue to cover local news.

Part of a team

Ponoka News is part of Black Press Media Group, which is home to some of the oldest, established community newspapers in Alberta and B.C. Black Press is currently the largest private newspaper publisher in Canada. It also has a branch in the United States.

Black Press has access to CP and AP stories.

The Canadian Press (CP) is a national news agency, headquartered in Toronto, that acts as the vehicle for the exchange of news and information, feeding rapid news updates to its member newspapers and/or content subscribers, such as Black Press.

It sets the standards for journalism in Canada, publishing CP Style guidebooks for news writing that are taught in journalism programs and don the desks of reporters and editors across the country.

The CP is also the exclusive distributor of the AP’s world news in Canada. The AP is a global news service based in the United States.

Sharing stories

Although Ponoka News editorial staff don’t write news stories of national or international interest, we will share them because they are still important and have an impact; no community exists in a bubble, and we encourage discussion of topics affecting Albertans and Canadians.

Sharing a story is not an endorsement of the point-of-view being conveyed, either by the author in an opinion piece, or by the source in a news article. As always, people must read discerningly and decide for themselves where they stand on issues.

Paper delivery

Newspapers use different business models to pay for the cost of production — through advertising, a subscription fee, or a combination of both.

When you pay a subscription fee, you are in part paying for the cost of delivery, either by mail or courier, and when you pay for a service, it is reasonable to expect to receive that service.

Ponoka News is a subscription-free paper, and is pleased to be able to offer the weekly print edition to its readers free of charge. As a free newspaper, that is carrier-driven we may sometimes be without a carrier in a specific area. Therefore we place paper in boxes around town and in the county and at businesses, as well as at the Ponoka News office.

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